High Point University to expand

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High Point University is asking the City of High Point to grant several re-zoning requests to accomodate anticipated university growth. But university officials say the re-zoning efforts will not result in buyouts, as in years past, rather a procedural move to reclassify property they’ve already acquired.

Those requests will be heard during a public meeting this evening in High Point City Chambers. There are five re-zoning requests, and most of them are to designate residential areas to institutional zones. In other words, changing areas where people can or do live to areas in which the university can build. Click here to see requests: http://www.highpointnc.gov/plan/docs/pzagd.htm.

University officials say they already own the 3.6 acres around Willoubar Terrace, North Avenue and Centennial. A 10.4 acre residential to institional request is already a university parking lot around North College Drive, Montlieu and Boundry Avenues. A university spokeswoman says the other requests are to accomodate small projects, such as sidewalk work.

If granted, the university plans to make room for new residential halls or other facilities, but there’s no clear plan for that yet. Over the past seven years, HPU has experience immense growth, increasing enrollment by 50 percent and investing around $700 million in building projects. HPU expects a 4,500 to 5,000 student enrollment increase over the next several years.

University officials add there are no updates regarding the 2011 purchase of Oak Hollow Mall. They are still “evaluating their options.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission meeting where the university re-zoning requests will be heard begins Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. That public hearing will be located in High Point City Council Chambers.

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